Growing up, my grandma was always a Tar Heel. She loved her some Mack Brown, used to ask me what Coach Bunting was thinking sometimes and often pondered if Butch would get our Heels over the hump.
However, none of those coaches were her favorite.
That role was reserved for the guy at Florida, Steve Spurrier. I liked Spurrier, she loved him. A lot of folks felt the same way she did; Spurrier had a certain charisma about him that drew folks in, even people who had no reason to really like the guy.
Well, in a time where we're seeing a big-time head coach go for being unethical, it seems that Coach Spurrier has poked his head out when we all need it the most.
Just as the rhetoric was revolving around sneaky and slimy and unethical, Steve Spurrier pipes up and pokes a little fun. He reminds us that there is still work to be done out there between the white lines, and needling your opponents in the process can certainly be fun.
As Barrett Sallee points out over at the SEC Blog, his digs at Georgia and discussion on Nick Saban are a welcomed change from standard coach speak. They're some of the reasons folks fell in love with and hated Steve Spurrier in the first place. However, nestled up underneath his not-so-thinly-veiled jabs is a lot of truth when he speaks about his own club.
“The best part is all the firsts, doing things that had never been done here.”
That's Spurrier on what he loves about being at South Carolina. A double-digit win season. Back-to-back double-digit win seasons. An SEC East championship. Beating Florida, Georgia and Tennessee all in the same year. Beating all three of those teams in back-to-back years. He's taken South Carolina football to heights many folks did not think possible.
And The Old Ball Coach still wants more.
He's changed the culture in Columbia and that's a truth that no jab at an opponent can mask. The fans down there are expecting to win for the first time in, well, a long time.
In my lifetime, pre-Spurrier, the Gamecocks had been to just six bowl games. In his time there since 2005, Spurrier's taken them to six. For a school that's been playing football since 1892, they finally have a program—finally have a team—to match their passion.
Yeah, Spurrier keeps football fun. His comments came at the right time. However, beneath it all, he speaks the truth when it comes to South Carolina. They have players and fans expecting to win and he's loving this second stint in the SEC East.